Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
Victor Vale and Eli Cardale started out as close friends and college roommates who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. For their senior year project they focus their research on EOs – ExtraOrdinary people with supernatural abilities.
Soon enough, they unlock the secret to becoming an EO: supernatural abilities are developed after near death experiences. They both decide to be their own test subjects and go through experiments.
And that’s when everything goes south. By the time they are both powered up, a bunch of people are dead, Eli has disappeared, and Victor is locked away in prison.
Ten years later Victor escapes from prison, with the help of his cellmate Mitch, determined to get his revenge on the man who put him there, while Eli, with the help of Serena, a mind-controlling EO, uses the police to hunt down rogue EOs, including Serena’s twelve-year-old sister Sydney. When Sidney manages to escape them she ends up running into Victor. From there on Victor keeps looking for ways to find Eli and finally get his revenge.
There’s a reason this series is called “Villains”. Victor and Eli each believe themselves to be the hero and the other the villain, but in reality they are both guilty of their own bad deeds. They aren’t evil to the bone, but then again few villains are. But I love the way Schwab portrayed this characters. She gives each and every one of them a heart and soul, and more importantly, a clear reason. They aren’t just bad guys who do bad things to bad people. Victor and Eli aren’t just villains, they’re people making very specific choices. They set their own courses because they wanted to.
The book itself is fast-paced and flashes between the past and present. It also gives us different character’s perspectives forcing you to pay attention and think about what you’ve read. All of it makes you unable to put this book down.
After finishing it, I immediately picked up the sequel, “Vengeful” and it is safe to say that this soon became a favorite. If you like fantasy with elements of science fiction, you should definitely give this series a go.